magsmadison

Hi.  I'm Maggie Madison and I write www.yournontoxiclife.com to help people live a less toxic life.  I started yournontoxiclife in 2007 to help people deal with the overwhelming stress and negativity in their lives, a toxic combination.  My experiences offline include: being a school social worker, substitute teacher and parent.  Everyday I realize how toxic my own life is and hope reading my own blog will help LOL

Digging the Dirt: Is Growing Your Own Economical?

Is growing your own vegetables economical? With many families starting new victory gardens this year, the question is timely. Michael Tortorello analyzed the costs/value of his new garden this year and his conclusion: based only on a cost/savings analysis, growing your own is anything but a money-saving hobby.  ...more

Having read this, I can only justify growing tomatoes, due to the fact that I can't find ...more

Michael Vick Aside, It's Not Easy To Get A Job With A Felony Conviction

Convicted Felon Michael Vick just landed a great job this week. He'll be earning $1.6 million this year. If things work out on the job, he could earn $5.2 million next year. A lot of people are not happy about this. Despite the fact he spent time in a federal prison, there are many who believe his crimes were so heinous that he should not be allowed to get his job back. ...more

I believe, as a condition of his release, he is working for the humane society.  If that gets ...more

Food Bloggers Dish on Where to Eat in Chicago

When it comes to food, there are two distinctly different kinds of people. First there's the type that could go somewhere, like say the 2009 BlogHer Conference in Chicago, without giving much thought to what kind of food they'll be eating. Then there are people like me who are happy to spend hours reading about restaurants and searching out the best possible food experiences whenever they visit a new city. If you're a fellow food-thrill seeker, this post is for you. ...more

Home Run Inn Pizza.  THE abolute best thin crust for those chicagoans ...more

Are You Going To Let Your Kids Watch The New Harry Potter Movie?

It seems that everywhere you turn there's talk about the opening of the latest Harry Potter movie. The wait has not been without its drama, with Ruper Glint (who plays Ron Weasley) catching the swine flu during filming and Jamie Waylett (who plays Draco Malfoy's crony Vincent Crabbe) getting arrested for possession and production of marijuana. ...more

These are very uplifting stories and dare I say they teach some Christian values.  The idea ...more

Spilling My Guts

It's after midnight here in Michigan, where I am visiting with friends and family. Surrounded daily by love and attention and support. So why am I awake and crying? Because for many months I've been hiding my health issues. Ok, maybe hiding isn't the best word. But since about ...oh, last year Christmas I've failed to mention to you - the people whom I tell EVERYTHING- that I've been sick. So tonight I'm awake and crying because yet ANOTHER symptom has appeared in this long and exhausting road of "I'm getting old and my body sucks." ...more

Somehow we have been socialized to feel like we can't come true about a lot of things because ...more

Photobloggers of the Windy City

I've returned from my quick trip to New York City, just in time to start preparing for my quick trip to Chicago -- can you believe that the BlogHer '09 conference is now just a week away?  I don't know about you, but (a) this summer is flying by way too fast, and (b) I haven't done a thing to start preparing for next week's trip.  Nothing, that is, until now. ...more

I hope you'll take some pics yourself this year and post them.  Chicago is a wonderfully ...more

Working Out While Traveling Away From Home

The first time I went to a BlogHer conference in the summer of 2007, I did a lot of walking. The conference venue in Chicago wasn’t close to the location where I was staying (it was a friend’s apartment, which means it was free), so I used a variety of means to get to where I needed to go -- there was public transportation, too, but I remember there was quite a bit of walking involved. ...more

I like to get up as early as possible when I travel.  I know vacations are supposed to be ...more

Science Medley--Now with Reasons to Keep Your Gray Hair

It's time once again for another edition of science medley, your resource for cocktail party conversation fodder, blog posts by women of science, and--this month--one reason to embrace your gray. Yes, you read that correctly. Over at the Beauty Brains, you can learn why gray hair is good. In a nutshell: ...more

I love that there is a good reason for my grays.  However, I may dislike them even more upon ...more

How about a pre-BlogHer meet up in June? You in?

BlogHer '09 is now less than 90 days away, and we thought it would be great to do a bunch of local meet-ups pre-conference in all the cities where there seem to be a lot of BlogHers. These meet-ups are for attendees and non-attendees. Hopefully it will help make day one of the conference for those of us attending a little less intimidating. And in case you didn't snatch up your pass before the conference sold out, we want you to come hang out too and experience a little bit of BlogHer! ...more

I could swing something another June weekend,when I will be in Chi-town. I'll check back.more

Trouble asking for help? Me, too.

I have a hard time asking for help when I am unable to do something for myself. But this week, I am weak, attached to an in-house oxygen tube 24/7, and on steroids and antibiotics due to severe bronchitis and extreme asthma. I have had to face up to needing a lot of help. I'll find out in a week's time how long I have to do this. But for now, I am calling in the troops to help with grocery shopping, yard tasks, trash hauling to curb, and so on. It has slammed me face to face with a broken place -- a place that when in I am in need offers up shame or embarrassment as the main feeling. ...more

I couldn't agree with you more. It's like I feel it's a sign of weakness to actually ask for ...more